Now, I’m personally still of the opinion that we should probably just let these things go. They are a remnant of a time when blogging was the next big thing on the internet. And no offense to any bloggers out there (I still read a lot of you and appreciate the work you put into your projects), that’s just not the case anymore. One could argue that blogging has become, for many (but not all) in the EVE community, simply a point of reference that you can tweet to in conversations that require more than 140 characters. Blogging just isn’t the same these days, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing or something we should try to fight against.I saw a lot of posts and opinions that Marc is wrong, that this is his role as the editor of TheMittani.com poking through trying to downplay and discredit blogging, and so forth and so such.
I hate to break it to you folks; Marc Scaurus is right. He's three years late to be right, but he's right nonetheless.
One of the advantages of being one of the oldest active and most prolific bloggers is that I remember what it was like at the beginning, when the Blog Pack and Banters started. When you could count on your fingers and toes the entirety of the Eve blogging community. And when it reached its height and counted over 500 active Eve blogs.
Now don't get me wrong; even in those heady days blogging never reached a huge portion of the general Eve populations. I was at the top of my game then (as my job was boring and I had many hours to spend on posting) and considered one of the top Eve blogs and I was barely known outside of the blogging community. But the fact was that outside of the game, forum posters and bloggers were the community metagame.
However, like any technology, new innovations began to cut into that dominance (such as it was) and surpass it.
I tend to mark 2010 as the year when things really began to change as that when the Iphone 3 and 3G and new Android phones really went from popular to everywhere. With almost everyone having access to smart phones, podcasts really started to reach more and more saturation in the Eve population. After all, you can download an episode and listen in the car, at work, jogging, almost anywhere! To read blogs you need an internet connection and web browser, and its easier to listen than to read. It can also be more engaging and animated than the dry words in a blog post. It takes a lot of work to be a decent blogger and get sort of well known, but even a shitty podcaster like me making 10 minute unedited podcasts twice a month can get ~900 listeners an episode.
Then, Twitter came along. its a vastly different medium than blogging, its a never-ending discussion where people jump in and out along the way as time permits. And its very in-the-now; no one will ever go back a year and re-read tweets like they do with blog posts. But its easy to join and compelling to participate or even lurk; information can be discussed, opinions garners, questions asked and answered... all things that we used to do more frequently with blogs but without the overhead of owning and having to post on a blog. Blog Banters still allow some of this communication and collaboration but the spontaneous efforts have dried up as the authors move to "microblogging" on twitter for the same purpose.
And now, more recently, another technology is growing in popularity: live-streaming through sites like Twitch.Tv. Here is another form of self publishing that is even more animated and compelling to watch and listen to than podcasts are. And producing them is even easier as you record as you play. And even larger audience is going to enjoy this new medium, including people outside of Eve. Mark my words, we've only begun to see the downstream effects of live streaming broadcasting.
Throw on top of all of that the growth of the "news sites" in Evenews24.com and TheMitanni.com, where people can write analytic and newsworthy posts under the legitimacy and easy readership of a flag, and not have the overhead of maintaining a blog and generating a readership, and no wonder that many people see blogging as the art of a bygone era.
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Blogging is not dead, and I honestly don't think it will ever die. A blogger almost always does it as a labour of love, not profit or sense of responsibility. And it still brings something to the table that the other mediums cannot: detailed analysis, guides, opinions, and just good old fashioned story telling in one convenient and patient spot. A thoughtful blog post will always be there waiting for you when you are ready to read. Details of ship fits can be read and digested at your pace. Links to tales you like easily shared.
The "independent" blogs may not have the readership reach of the big conglomerates but they don't have the hidden (or not so hidden) biases and agendas; they don't need to generate page counts for advertising, they don't have editors looking over shoulders and deciding what is worthy of publication and what is not.
Blogs will continue to exist in a smaller role than the past but that's OK. A few will reach beyond the borders and grab the attention of the larger Eve audience; like Jester's Trek for analysis and guides, like Poetic Discourse for controversy and opinion and style, like Freebooted for community building and promotion, and like Confessions of a Starship Politician for information dissemination. The rest will toil in relative obscurity but will always be worth reading to me.
Marc Scaurus is right but that does not mean we should not continue to write posts and share links and keep community sites alive. I'm glad EveBloggers.com has a new owner, and I look forward to continue to be on it as long as it lasts.